Safeguarding Policy

 

Reel Solutions is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its young participants. We believe all staff, freelancers and volunteers have an important and unique role to play in child protection and the protection of young adults at risk.

Reel Solutions is committed to ensuring that all teams for film school teams know:

  • How to recognise and respond to children’s safeguarding concerns, including signs of possible maltreatment
  • Where to find appropriate support
  • How to take appropriate action

 

We believe:

  • Our organisation can contribute to the prevention of abuse
  • All young people and adults at risk have the right to be protected from harm irrespective of their race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, social background and culture
  • Children and adults at risk need support which matches their individual needs
  • Young people and adults at risk need to be safe and feel safe whilst learning

Reel Solutions will fulfil local and national responsibilities as laid out in the following documents:

 

Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2013)

Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2016)

West Yorkshire Safeguarding Childrens’ Board

Children Act 1989  (as amended 2004 Section 52)

Education Act 2002 s175/s157

North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board

 

Overall Aims

To contribute to the prevention of abusive experiences in the following ways:

  • Clarifying standards of behaviour for staff and participants
  • Introducing appropriate work within the curriculum
  • Developing staff awareness of the causes of abuse
  • Addressing concerns at the earliest possible stage

To contribute to the protection of our young participants and adults at risk  in the following ways:

  • Including appropriate work within the courses
  • Implementing child protection policies and procedures
  • Working in partnership with young people, parents and agencies that specifically support children
  • Ensuring that online safety is included in relevant lessons and appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place
  • Ensure that any films or other visual aids are age appropriate

To contribute to supporting our young participants and adults at risk in the following ways:

  • Identifying individual needs where possible
  • Designing plans to meet needs
  • Offering pastoral support where required

This policy applies to Reel Solutions & Reel Filmmaking Projects entire workforce.

 

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Everyone within, or contracted by, Reel Solutions has responsibilities in connection with safeguarding.  We need to ensure that we strive towards providing an environment which feels safe and is safe for everyone.  We all have responsibilities to be mindful of potential harm to children, young people and adults at risk and to take appropriate steps to safeguard them against harm.  

All Reel Solutions staff, freelancers and volunteers should:

  • Be familiar with the safeguarding policy and procedure;
  • Be familiar with the Safe Behaviour Guidelines
  • Be familiar with, and follow, their own service’s procedures and

protocols for safeguarding and protecting children, young people and adults at risk

  • Know who to contact and how to raise concerns.

Project Manager/Lead Safeguarding Officer for BFI Film Academies:

ZOE NAYLOR  zoe@reelsolutions.uk 07977 458 213

Additional responsibilities for the Project Manager/Safeguarding Lead Officer:

  • The Project Manager is responsible for ensuring that staff, freelancers and volunteers are aware of and abide by the safeguarding policy and procedure.  They will identify and address training needs of staff, and will provide support and guidance to employees and volunteers
  • The Project Manager will ensure that where they and their members of staff work directly with children and adults at risk, they will have a sound working knowledge of relevant legislation and guidance with respect to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
  • The Safeguarding Lead Officer will cascade training/briefing and information
  • Provide a point of contact for staff to raise safeguarding concerns with
  • Ensure that concerns are dealt with, and recorded, appropriately
  • Provide appropriate support to managers to ensure that safeguarding is reflected in the commissioning process, and contracts
  • The Safeguarding Lead Officer is the nominated person for monitoring and recording Safeguarding and will be responsible for deciding whether to report the concern or gain further advice about it, from the relevant safeguarding professionals

 

If the Safeguarding Lead Officer has concern for further investigation they must contact the relevant Contact Centres (APPENDIX 2).

 

Safeguarding Guidance for all Reel Solutions staff

 

Our Safeguarding Policy provides information to enable all employees, freelancers and volunteers who are not directly and professionally involved in safeguarding as part of their job to fulfil their roles in relation to safeguarding children and adults at risk of harm. It also aims to give confidence to staff at all levels within Reel Solutions on how to recognise and respond whenever they have a concern about someone in relation to safeguarding.  Doing nothing is not an option.

Definition of Safeguarding

Safeguarding is fundamentally about promoting the welfare of children and adults at risk and doing all that we can to prevent harm, abuse or neglect.  Safeguarding requires us to develop protection arrangements where and as necessary to ensure the continued safeguarding of individuals at risk. Where safeguarding incidents occur it is critically important to investigate concerns; take appropriate action to respond to such concerns; and to review processes and working practices to further improve safeguarding practice for the future.

The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children. It gives local authorities a duty to make enquiries to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.  

Who is a child?

A child is anyone under the age of 18 years (including pre-birth)

Who is an ‘adult at risk’?

An adult at risk (previously known as a ‘vulnerable adult’) is anyone aged 18 years or over:

  • who is or may be in need of community care services due to mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against… harm or exploitation (No Secrets, 2000,). This definition includes adults with physical, sensory and mental impairments and learning disabilities, whether they were present from birth or later due to advancing age, chronic illness or injury etc. It also includes people with mental illness, dementia or other memory impairments, and people who misuse substances or alcohol. The definition also includes carers (family and friends who provide personal assistance and care to adults on an unpaid basis).

Dealing with a disclosure of abuse

See Appendix 3 for information about what you must remember when a child or adult at risk of harm tells you about abuse s/he has suffered

NB It is not our role to seek disclosures but it is our role to observe that something may be wrong, ask about it, listen, be available and try to make time to talk.

 

Raising a Concern

 

All staff and volunteers have a duty to inform the Project Manager/Safeguarding Lead Officer of any concerns about possible abuse or neglect, without delay.

This is in addition to taking any immediate action which may involve calling the police or ambulance service. A concern may be something you have been told about or something you have witnessed e.g. changes in a person’s behaviour, or how they are treated by others.

To help you decide whether to report your concern you should consider whether the person (child or adult at risk) has been harmed, or if there is a risk of harm if you do not let someone know.  You need to be clear about the immediate cause for concern; this should include why you suspect abuse or what you have been told, and the extent to which the person would appear to be at risk of harm.  If you suspect that a crime has been committed then you should be aware of the need to preserve evidence e.g. not touching or moving anything.

What should I do?

  • Initially talk to the young person/adult at risk about what you are observing. It is okay to ask questions, for example ‘I’ve noticed that you don’t appear yourself today, is everything okay?’ but never use leading questions
  • Listen carefully to what the young person has to say and take it seriously. Act at all times towards the child/adult at risk, as if you believe what they are saying
  • It is not your responsibility to investigate incidences of suspected child abuse but to gather information
  • Always explain to children that any information they have given will have to be shared with others, if this indicates they and or other children are at risk of harm
  • As soon as you can afterwards, make a detailed record of the conversation using the child’s own language. Include any questions you may have asked. Do not add any opinions or interpretations. The person who receives the allegation or has the concern should complete the appropriate  form and ensure it is signed and dated
  • Notify the Safeguarding Lead Officer or Project Manager
  • Respect confidentiality and file documents securely

The concern should be recorded wherever possible on the Child and Adult Safeguarding Concern Form – Appendix 1

Should the member of staff be unable to report it to the Project Manager/Safeguarding Officer immediately, (i.e. they are completing a mentored activity), the member of staff should make notes and try to complete the appropriate form as soon as possible afterwards.

Where possible, you should include full information about the person at risk and the person or organisation alleged to have caused harm including

  • Name, address and contact number of child disclosing abuse
  • Name of child (if different)
  • Gender
  • Date of birth (or approximate age if information cannot be obtained)
  • Details of person with parental responsibility for the child
  • GP’s details
  • School/college details
  • Siblings details
  • Ethnicity

 

If you do not have this information then you should still let the Project Manager/Lead Safeguarding Officer know about your concern, and forward your notes to them as it may provide an additional piece of an already emerging picture.

As a minimum include the following information in a factual record:

  • Date, time and location of the incident/ disclosure;
  • Exactly what you have been told (record the person’s own words including where, who was there, was anyone else aware, what happened or seen or heard and what was said by those involved) and/or exactly what you have witnessed
  • The appearance and behaviour of the child or adult at risk and any injuries observed
  • Who else has been told

The details from your notes are to be transferred onto the relevant Concern form at the earliest opportunity. Once you have raised your concern with the Project Manager/Safeguarding Lead Officer you may be asked to provide additional information or to clarify information about your concerns, either by them or by the appropriate professional lead in the area. Whether or not the Project Manager/Safeguarding Lead Officer has referred your concern on, they should let you know what has happened with it, as far as they are able to do so.

 

Consent

 

For action to be taken, in most circumstances, the adult at risk or the child’s parents/guardians should be aware of/give consent to the concern being raised. Ideally consent will be sought by the member of staff who raises the concern; however, this will depend on the relationship that exists between the member of staff and the person himself or herself. If it is not appropriate for the member of staff to gain consent, any concerns should still be raised, and it should be made clear that consent has not been discussed, with reasons why.

If the Project Manager/Safeguarding Lead Officer receiving the concern decides to pass it to the safeguarding professionals, they can do so without the consent of the individual.  If they do this, they need to tell the safeguarding professional that consent has not been obtained, and why it is felt important to pass on the concern. The actions taken by the safeguarding professionals will take account of the fact that consent has not been gained.

Reporting

Having contacted the Project Manager/Safeguarding Lead Officer, they will support you in making a record of your information and will make a decision about how to progress it.  If it is decided that they need to pass it on then they will do so. This will be done by phoning the contact centre. If your concern is not passed on, it will still be recorded in line with the local arrangements for your service.  If the Safeguarding Lead Officer has been involved they will complete the Safeguarding Lead Officer Log. As a minimum, this will include information about the incident:

  •        where and when it happened;
  •        who was involved;
  •        and details of the person who raised the concern.  

Safeguarding Lead Officers should ensure that there is a record of the decision as to whether the potential safeguarding issue has been passed on, together with the reasons for that decision as well as any actions taken.

The Safeguarding Lead Officer must ensure that there are arrangements in place for the secure storage of all records of concerns whether or not they resulted in being taken forward. All completed forms will be kept in a lockable filing cabinet in Reel Solutions Head Office – Dean Clough, Halifax or Woodend Office, Scarborough. In addition, the Safeguarding Lead Officer should be available to provide information, on request, regarding the level and nature of concerns raised and about the number and nature of the concerns taken forward.

 

Allegation against a member of staff

These procedures must be followed in any case in which it is alleged that a member of staff, visiting professional or volunteer has:-

  1. behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child
  2. possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  3. Behaved in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.                                                   

 

Allegations against a member of staff or volunteer

Inappropriate behaviour by staff/volunteers could take the following forms:

  • Physical includes, for example, intentional use of force as a punishment, slapping, use of objects to hit with, throwing objects or rough physical handling.
  • Emotional includes, for example, intimidation, belittling, scapegoating, sarcasm, lack of respect for children’s rights, and attitudes which discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, disability or sexuality.
  • Sexual includes, for example, sexualised behaviour towards pupils, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.
  • Neglect: may include failing to act to protect a child or children, failing to seek medical attention or failure to carry out appropriate/proper risk assessment etc…

A safeguarding complaint that meets the above criteria must be reported to the Project Manager immediately. The worker must ensure that the child is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made. If the complaint involves the Project Manager then the next most senior member of staff must be informed and the matter must be discussed with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

The Project Manager should carry out an urgent initial consideration in order to establish whether there is substance to the allegation. The Project Manager should not carry out the investigation itself or interview pupils.  As part of this initial consideration, the Project Manager should consult with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

Regardless of whether a police and/or Children Social Work Service investigation follows, an internal investigation should take place and consideration given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve an immediate suspension and/or ultimate dismissal dependant on the nature of the incident. All issues must be recorded and the outcome reached must be noted to ensure closure.

The LADO’S fulfil an independent role to that of organisations (e.g Borough Council etc). On receipt of any allegations made against an individual, they are responsible for liaising with the relevant professionals and the co-ordination and monitoring of subsequent actions.

Employers should inform the LADO as soon as possible of all allegations and of those cases that have been referred directly to the Police and Children’s Services. The designated officer or deputy should report the matter to the LADO within one working day.

The LADO will advise the reporting officer/employer on next steps to be taken and decide whether or not the matter should be referred to Police or Children’s Services. Allegations made directly to Police or Children’s Services may become or may already be subject to joint consultation. Such allegations should nevertheless be brought to the attention of the relevant designated officer who will without delay be responsible for liaison with the LADO. This liaison should take place within one working day of receiving the allegation.

 

Confidentiality

All information received will be treated in confidence and information will only be shared on a “need to know” basis.  All correspondence and information relating to any safeguarding matter must be treated in strict confidence. Detailed information regarding concerns about a child, young person, or adult at risk must not be shared with colleagues, other than with a line manager or Safeguarding Lead Officer for the purpose of deciding what action should be taken in relation to such concerns.

All records will be kept securely in the Reel Solutions Head Office at Dean Clough in Halifax.

 

Communication and Training

All staff will participate in a training/briefing which is appropriate and proportionate to their role.  This will be provided by cascaded training/briefing via the Safeguarding Lead Officer, and/or through more specialised training provided through the Safeguarding Boards or specialist in-house trainers.

All new staff employed by Reel Solutions working with young people will attend a Safeguarding training session either online or in person.

The Project Manager and Lead Safety Officer must ensure that all volunteers are aware of their responsibilities, and are regularly reminded of these in the most appropriate way.

 

Photography & Filming – Keeping Children & Young People Safe

 

As providers of film and visual training to young people it is important that there is a platform for photos and films made to be shared but to ensure that this is done safely all staff must ensure the following:

 

  • Do not use children’s full names in photograph captions. If a child is named, avoid using the photograph or use only their first name.
  • Use a parental permission form to obtain consent for a child to be photographed and videoed (these can be viewed in Appendix 6)
  • Obtain the child’s permission to use their image (these can be viewed in Appendix 6)
  • Only use images of children in suitable clothing to reduce the risk of inappropriate use. Some activities, for example swimming and drama, present a much greater risk of potential misuse.
  • Images of young people used on Reel Solutions website and the company’s social media platforms should not be accompanied by personal information, such as the name of a child and their hobby, as this could lead to them being used to learn more about a child prior to grooming them for abuse.
  • Clearly state written expectations of professional photographers or the press who are invited to any Reel Solutions’ event involving young people. These must make clear the organisation’s expectations of them in relation to child protection
  • Do not allow photographers unsupervised access to children
  • Do not approve photography sessions outside the event or at a child’s home
  • Always consult young people about the use of their photograph to ensure they’re aware that the image is taking place and understand what it is going to be used for
  • Keep images or video recordings of children secure. Hard copies of images or films must be kept in a locked drawer and electronic images will be in a protected folder with restricted access unless permission to use them on online platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo and project partners’ websites has been given
  • Images will not be stored on unencrypted portable equipment such as laptops, memory sticks and mobile phones unless these are password protected and within the secure Google Apps for Education Drive
  • Avoid using any personal equipment to take photos and recordings of children and use only cameras or devices belonging to the Reel Solutions or partner organisations

 

 

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